In Part 2 of TVGuide.com's
Smallville preview, exec producers Brian Peterson and Todd Slavkin give their take on Season 8 (which arrives Sept. 18) by talking about the return of Green Arrow and offering an update on important people in Clark's life (Lex, Lana and Martha included). Plus: Which DC Universe players you will - and won't - be seeing this year. -
TVGuide.com: How did the WGA strike affect your storytelling last season?
We were only short two episodes; we did 20 out of the 22 [originally planned]. We actually got to complete most of our storylines that we set, especially the dynamics with Clark and Lex and also Lex and Lionel, including the final turn of Lex killing his father.
TVGuide.com: It was tough seeing John Glover leave, because he made such a great Lionel.
John's a great actor and a great man - we miss him dearly - but it was always in the cards that Lex murdering his father would aid in his descent into evil. [Original show runners] Al [Gough] and Miles [Millar] had always had that idea. Still, it was tough to do.
TVGuide.com: I was telling Justin Hartley that I hope his return to the show as a regular means more Oliver and Lois. It's a successful pairing, even though it's outside the comic-books' mythos.
Al and Miles really set up a show in which every character and every situation has a slight twist to it from the mythos, much like the different versions of the comic books do. We really pay attention to the mythos, but then try to put a spin on it. This year, we're introducing Davis Bloome ( Battlestar Galactica's Sam Witwer) as Doomsday [the comic book villain that "killed" Superman in 1992], and we have a completely different take on it. As the season goes by, people will find he's very much in line with the mythology.
TVGuide.com: But Doomsday won't have the concrete jagged edges coming out of his body?
It's a reimagination and a reinvention. We didn't want to take a character straight out of the comics, just as Al and Miles took Lex and created their very own version, which, in our minds, is the best version of any Lex Luthor in the history of the Superman folklore. We're doing the same thing with Doomsday. So while we definitely make a nod to the original, this is our own. I think the fans will be pleasantly excited.
TVGuide.com: What can you say about the statuses of Kristin Kreuk (Lana) and Michael Rosenbaum (Lex)? I have to say, Michael makes every actor he's in a scene with a better one.
Michael is fantastic. His rendition of Lex Luthor helped make the show what it is today. Obviously, we were very sad to see him go. He's pursuing his own interests and we're hoping the door is definitely open for him to return. We've not seen the last of Lex Luthor.
Slavkin: Kristin will return for at least five episodes this season. [Lana] will appear at an inopportune time for Clark. We don't want to give away when it will happen, but it's going to be an awesome moment in the history of Smallville when Kristin Kreuk comes back.
TVGuide.com: Great casting with Black Canary last year. And her "Canary cry" was well-done, special effects-wise.
Alaina [Huffman] is great and she's a big part of the season premiere. This is a year in which Clark is really embracing being a superhero and his double identity, but at the same time some of his friends in the Justice League are thrown into crises of their own. It's going to be an interesting year as Clark grows into himself.
TVGuide.com: What about Impulse and Cyborg? Tom Welling easily taps into Clark's protective side whenever he plays big brother to Impulse.
Clark's such a great role model. He has a sense of integrity about himself that he always passes on to young characters. The actors who play Impulse and Cyborg are phenomenal and we'd love to have them back sometime. In the premiere it's an incarnation of the Justice League that you've yet to see: Black Canary, Green Arrow and Aquaman ( Alan Ritchson). The three of them are all searching for the missing Clark.
Peterson: That takes an interesting twist, too.
TVGuide.com: Annette O'Toole's Martha is a vital element in Clark's life. Might she be back?
We're hoping. We actually have a very interesting idea for bringing her back. We hope it comes to fruition.
Slavkin: She's on Broadway right now [in Kindness], so if we can fit her into our schedule that would be great. She's a character we miss dearly because Ma Kent, like Pa Kent, has had such an impact on Clark.
TVGuide.com: Have we seen the last of Supergirl/Kara (Laura Vandervoort)?
She'll be back for a show, we hope.
TVGuide.com: Has DC said no to Bruce Wayne ever appearing on Smallville? Apparently, there's this movie out now featuring Batman....
It's a rights issue.
Peterson: We are going to have several DC Comics characters on the show this season. We have Maxima coming. Also, Plastique is going to be in Episode 2 [played by Jessica Parker Kennedy]. She has flame/explosive powers.
Slavkin: There's nothing better than to have an intergalactic sex goddess - Maxima - come into the DC Universe and have her try to mate with Clark.
TVGuide.com: How about for an episode introducing a beautiful blond telepath, a dark-haired guy with magnetic powers and a reddish-brown haired guy with lightning powers to play the founding members of the Legion of Superheroes?
[ Exchanging a look with Slavkin] We haven't thought about that actually. Hmm....
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